Blackpool artist inspired by cartoonist's sketches of The Clash in new exhibition

A little bit of magic capturing The Clash on tour in America is featured in an art exhibition in Blackpool this week.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 11:41 pm
Robin Ross and his latest works for exhibition, a series of prints based around the works of artist Ray Lowry who captured The Clash on tour. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

When the legendary band visited Stateside in 1979 they were accompanied by Ray Lowry, a celebrated cartoonist who worked for music paper NME and The Guardian newpaper.

Ray produced a series of sketches capturing the band live on stage, one of which was later developed for the famous cover of classic album London Calling.

Fast forward to July 2021 and Fylde coast artist Robin Ross has created a number of 'hand-pulled' prints, depicting some of those sketches but also adorned with colourful prints of original ticket stubs and flyers from the period.

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Robin Ross with another of his prints

Six of these works are currently on display at the Waterloo Music Bar, on the corner of Waterloo Road and Central Drive, until Sunday.

They are all for sale and funds will go towards to the Waterloo Music Bar itself, which lost funds after the coronavirus lockdowns.

Robin, 71, who grew up in St Annes but now lives in Bispham, works from the Rock Factory Print Studio, on Deansgate in central Blackpool

He said: "When I was in Manchester a while ago, I was given the book of Ray Lowry sketches by an acquaintance who wasn't what to do with them.

"Ray was a legend and his work is full of movement.

"I've added to them, with the tickets and the flyers and now they've gone on display.

"A lot of people still love The Clash so I think this will resonate with music fans."

The Clash, who were led by singer and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer and lead guitarist Mick Jones, were one of Britain's most influential punk bands but also incorporated many different styles until they broke up in early 1986

Their tour of America depicted in the exhibition brought them many new fans.

Robin is busy with a number of artistic projects at the moment and he will be attending various festivals across the region.

Before focussing on his art, Robin enjoyed a colourful career that included making contact lenses in St Annes and becoming a presenter on offshore radio station Radio Caroline Mk II in the 1980s.

He has also put on the Sand Sea and Spray festival, an event for street artists to congregate in Blackpool and turn blank walls into pieces of art.

He added:"Ian Fletcher has just created something so incredible at the Waterloo, with the range of live music and the atmosphere there, that I wanted to support him and the team there."